About Me

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On the bright side of the road
Lover of words. Usually found with a book or a pen in my hand.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

My Butterfly Mind

I'm in love with writing.  Everything about it is delightful.  And I love to read.  Read words so cleverly composed that they trickle and gel to create a watercolour that undulates and flows, flirting with my emotions and shamelessly seducing my senses.  Words are magical and intoxicating, frivolous and deep.  Words can be what you want them to be.  Pain and anguish or light and free.  The writer chooses the words and their order, it is for the reader to plunge into those words and to be carried by the stream.

I’m in love with writing.  I love to write short stories and epic adventures, articles and reviews.  My mind flutters over each idea and, as a butterfly gently drinks from a daisy only to be distracted by the black-eyed Susan and the columbine, I drift between my characters and their stories, changing tack in the breeze, never staying too long but always moving on.  Of course, this flighty activity means I rarely finish a project.  I have pages of works in progress or finished bar the final edit, but another character will call, claiming ownership on my limited time and my fluttering mind.

I’m in love with writing.  Everything about it is delightful:  from conversing with my characters to dreaming up plots.  I fall in love with my creations, argue with them and cry.  But I never stay too long for other characters await the brush of my mental wings.

I’m in love with writing.  A clean piece of paper and an ink pen seduce.  The virginal sheet sits patiently waiting, the ink pen poised ready to leave its mark.  The fusion of the two can create a beautiful piece of prose or something dark and sinister.  It is for me to decide.  I submit to the fluttering in my mind and let the thoughts take control of the tool.  They tumble out onto the page, trembling and deliberating, gaining confidence and gelling, creating a union so tight I feel heady.

At last the beating wings are spent and for a while my mind is still.  But soon a character will call and the wings softly stir.  I’m in love with writing.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Face for the Radio

I had my first taste of PR on Thursday:  Writebulb was invited to attend the Essex Book Festival launch at Chelmsford Library.  Sadly only three of the founders could attend (Kate has just started a new job so couldn't take the time off work) but we still muddled through!  It was quite a nerve-wracking experience with labels stuck on us and radio producers counting us down...and lots of people looking at us as if we were celebrities!  It was a very strange experience but incredibly good fun.  The folks at Chelmsford Library and the BBC Essex team were so warm and friendly and did their best to put us at our ease.  It was great - and much more fun than the day job!

We were given a writing challenge to perform which was read out on air by the first Essex Storytelling Laureate, Mike Dodsworth (http://www.mikedodsworth.com/) who was fantastic.  Our writing challenge was to write a love letter to the county of Essex and we had just 40 minutes to complete it.  It is the first time that the three of us (Stu, Brigid and myself) have collaborated on anything and we all have very different styles of writing.  The piece we produced was certainly very different from something I would have produced alone - but I'm sure the others feel that way, too.  It was a huge learning curve in writing quickly and a great team effort - something that I would like to explore further within Writebulb meetings.  I think we can all learn from collaborating with other writers of differing styles.

After our 15 minutes of fame I met the lovely Joanna Trollope http://www.joannatrollope.com/ - gosh, what an amazing lady.  She was so kind and gracious...I am definitely in awe!  I also met Guy Saville, a new author who spent lots of time chatting with us and giving us insights into the publishing world - very scary (not Guy!)  Such a lovely man who has promised to speak at one of our meetings on the proviso that we supply him with chocolate biscuits!

And so I give you Writebulb's Love Letter to The County of Essex:

To my gorgeous county Essex,

I dreamt of you last night. As we walked together along the endless coastline, I admired your gently undulating countryside, and your outstanding areas of natural beauty.

You turned to me and said "are my curves bigger than Norfolk?" and I replied that you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. My heart revs for you like the boy racers on Southend seafront.

We talked about Dick; both Turpin and Moby, but couldn't decide which one to dine in.

As I awoke I realised that my interest in you is not just scientific, like your salty marshes. I'd serenade you like Olly Murs, and pen the story of our love like Martina Cole. I know you like a villain.

No other county compares to you. I can lose myself in you and be everything I am, for I have seen the real you.

Do not doubt yourself. I love the way you look in your stilettos. Your costume jewellery shines in the night, like the lights of Bas Vegas.

I have been around the world and back and, truly, the only way is Essex.

Lots of love and kisses,